Albania + 3 more

WFP Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Situation Report: 24 February 2000

Situation Report
Originally published
EMOP 6136.01- Food assistance to refugees, IDPs and social cases in the Balkan region
The Bi-Weekly Balkan Operations Sitrep is published on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
Countries covered
Commodity Commitment (MT)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania Cereals
Total Net Needs*
Beneficiaries of EMOP 6136.01
January - March
April - June
July - December
F.R.Y. - Kosovo
F.R.Y. - Serbia (without Kosovo)
F.R.Y. - Montenegro
F.Y.R. of Macedonia
Total Balkans


The Fast IT and Telecoms Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) Asia team arrived in Pristina on 8 February. FITTEST/Asia will be working throughout the OAE countries in response to crises such as East Timor. It is temporarily based in Pristina so it can take advantage of experience gained during the Kosovo crisis.


FRY - Kosovo

The violence and ethnic tensions in and around Mitrovica has forced WFP to re-route commodities coming out of the port of Bar (Montenegro) through Peja instead of Mitrovica. Mitrovica is now receiving commodities from the warehousing facilities in Pristina. In addition, WFP was forced to suspend all operations within Mitrovica on 21 February 2000 due to the Pristina - Mitrovica protest march that took place. An estimated 50,000 people participated in the march. Operations returned to normal on Tuesday, 22 February.

As a result of the continuing phase-down within Kosovo, WFP/UNHCR and NGOs have planned an intensive information campaign to facilitate the de-registration process. In addition, WFP is working closely with UNMIK to address the integration of food aid and social welfare assistance within Kosovo province.

The second Food Economy Assessment for Kosovo will be done during the first part of March. This is a follow-up to the Food Economy Assessment that was done during Autumn 1999.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) - Serbia (excluding Kosovo)

WFP is currently reviewing ways to improve food aid distribution and monitoring within Serbia. Following a meeting held in Belgrade, WFP concluded that distribution to beneficiaries in social institutions and collective centres will be done by CRS, CARE, ACF and ISSA. This represents roughly 10 percent of WFP's current food aid assistance. In addition, WFP will be placing a WFP representative in all EDPs located in Serbia.

Three local purchases have been done: two for wheat flour and one for sugar. The first consignment of wheat flour arrived and has been delivered to the EDP. The second shipment of wheat flour is scheduled to arrive in time for the March distribution.

The sugar that was purchased locally is scheduled to arrive during the first part of March.

Beneficiary re-registration is currently planned for June 2000.

FRY - Montenegro

The Montenegro Commissioner for Displaced Persons (MCDP) re-registered IDPs within Montenegro during November/December. As a result of the re-registration, 31,129 IDPs have been identified and the allocation plan for February has been adjusted accordingly. In addition, WFP visited 14 collective centres within Herceg Novi to determine whether the beneficiaries needed revising. Based on the results of the visit, the numbers were reduced from 745 in January to 642 in February.

WFP organized a two day seminar for the MRC to present and discuss the WFP programme for the second half of 2000. The discussions focused on operational issues.

A General Food Aid Co-ordination Meeting was organized by WFP for all agencies involved in providing food assistance to vulnerable people within Montenegro. The meeting was attended by representatives from UNHCR, ICRC, IFRC, ACF and Premiere Urgence. WFP explained that there has been an increase in interventions targeting socially vulnerable beneficiaries and urged all agencies to closely co-ordinate their efforts with WFP/UNHCR and other agencies to avoid duplication. WFP also cautioned the attendees about the potential problem that could be created should the government view this support as a regular component of their welfare policies.

UN Special Envoy, Carl Bildt, visited Montenegro as part of his Balkans regional visit. While in Montenegro, he held discussions with members of the Montenegrin government as well as with heads of the UN agencies, OSCE and some major NGOs. The key discussion topic was the prevention of new conflicts within the area and creating conditions for sustainable structures.


UNHCR completed re-registration and verification of refugees currently living within FYRoM. The numbers stand at 2,444 refugees living in collective centres, 6,699 refugees living with host families and an estimated 8,000 undocumented refugees living either with host families, or private accommodations.

WFP completed the planned double-distribution for January/February. A delay in the provision of hygienic parcels by IFRC caused delays in the WFP distribution. It was determined that CSB distribution to refugee families will be discontinued at the end of February.

WFP is currently doing a detailed survey to obtain and collate information on organizations providing complementary and basic food aid to social case, host families, registered and non-registered refugees in FYRoM.

WFP met with ambassadors from the US, UK and Germany. The meeting was chaired by Carl Bildt and focused on the Stability Pact Agreement. Key issues discussed included how donors can aid the FYRoM government to lower the unemployment rate (currently 40 percent) and how a regional approach can be maintained in assisting social cases.


55,000 beneficiaries are expected to receive food aid during February. These beneficiaries are predominately pensioners and families receiving government assistance.


Concerted efforts continue on the part of both WFP Headquarters in Rome and the Balkans Regional Office in Pristina to co-ordinate the resumption of the WFP Air Bridge.


Confirmed contributions to EMOP 6136.01 as of 21 February 2000 amount to approximately 27.8 million dollars. Stocks in the Balkan Region are currently sufficient to meet requirements for the first quarter of 2000; however, during the second quarter, the region will face a significant shortfall (15,000 MT to 20,000 MT per month) if no new contributions are confirmed.